DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– The City of Dayton is charging tornado survivors demolition fees.
The Church of Christ Disaster Response team works every day to help people recover from natural disasters.
They’ve seen it all. Until now.
“We have never been to a city prior to Dayton where they did not waive the demolition permit fees,” said Steve Liles, a Lead Coordinator with the Church of Christ Disaster Response Team.
For someone looking to demolish their house, it will cost $5 per 100 square feet.
The minimum fee is $50, leaving storm victims like Michelle Tiley paying $116 she didn’t have.
“I used my card that Red Cross gave me. They put some money on that. That’s what I used to pay for it,” said Tiley.
The frustration doesn’t stop there. The Church of Christ Disaster Response Team also helps families demolish their mangled houses. And in most cases, they say cities (across the U.S.) will pick up the debris. That’s not the case in Dayton. So the team can’t help with demolitions at all because Dayton mandates that if you take a house down, you must take it to the dump.
The disappointment for residents doesn’t stop there.
“The city says you’ve got to take the house down. You’ve got to dig up your foundation. You’ve got to fill it in and seed it. And a couple weeks later, if we do come back to rebuild, we have to lay the foundation back down,” said Tiley.
The Disaster Response Team says they might have to pack up soon and move to other disasters because they are restricted in how they can help in Dayton.
“Whoever I needed (to talk to) and was being transferred to, they would all say their hands are tied. And according to the ordinance, this is what we have to do,” said a frustrated Liles.
2 NEWS reached out to the City of Dayton. The City released a statement Tuesday, saying that the City Commission will be voting Wednesday and is expected to pass a resolution to waive demolition fees and permit for homeowners and businesses affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes.